I took part in the monitor tour of “Higashi-Murayama Marutto Otegaru (“Wholly Easy”) Trip, in possession of an original tourist goshuin-cho (notebook for stamps) and enjoying Japanese sake and local beers.” It is a half-day bus tour hosted by “Higashi-Murayama City’s World’s Most ‘Wanna Visit’ Tourism Committee.” As Higashi-Murayama City is located about 30 minutes from Shinjuku or Ikebukuro in Tokyo by JR or Seibu Railway train, you can visit there easily.
This is a temple of the Rinzai school of Buddhism. Built in 1650, it houses National Important Cultural Property “Genko no Itahi,” which is a plate-shaped stone monument that was built by Nitta Yoshisada, a famous military commander who raised an army to overthrow the Kamakura shogunate, to mourn his soldiers who lost their lives in battle. In addition, the temple displays many other plate-shaped monuments, stone tools and earthenware.
Stone Monument Museum
Tokuzo-ji Temple Plate-shaped Monument Museum: Admission: 200 yen (adult)
Founded in 1850 in Higashumurayama City as “Sakurai Shoyu-ten” (soy source brewery), PoleStar Inc. is now a seasonings maker producing Japanese Worcestershire-style sauce, making and selling original sauces that have no synthetic preservatives added, and synthetic dyes or other additives including flavor enhancers. As they make the sauces extracting juice from boiled vegetables, adding fruits, spices, sugar and vinegar, their sauces are considered to be very healthy without oil. You can buy them at the store adjacent to the factory.
In the past, with a lack of understanding of Hansen’s disease (formerly called leprosy) and prejudiced thinking such as “Once infected, there is no cure,” the Japanese government had a policy for persons with leprosy to be sent to isolated sanatoriums and banned from going out (by legislation of 1907). In such a situation, many patients were not only denied freedom, but also suffered from discrimination and prejudice. Even after curative medicine appeared after WWII, the patients and also people who recovered from the disease had difficulties getting back into society. At last the Japanese government officially admitted its mistake in 2001 after the courts handed down a decision on the matter. At this museum, you can learn information about the disease and its history in Japan, life in the sanatoriums, and so on.
The National Hansen’s Disease Museum
The National Hansen’s Disease Museum
Picture books and materials based on original works of the residents
The National Hansen’s Disease Museum: Admission free
Hansen’s disease is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium laprae, presenting symptoms such as skin lesions or peripheral nerve disorders after contracting the disease. Infectiousness is quite weak and even after infection, likelihood of pathogenesis is low. Nowadays it is a disease curable with medicinal treatment.
An up-and-coming craft beer brewery established in 2017. For beer lovers, this is a good place where you can tour the brewery and sample the brewery-made beer. This day I drank eight kinds of beer, such as “THREE FRIENDS PALE ALE (American Pale Ale),” “Konnichiwa, Michael desu (meaning “Hello, this is Michael”) Ver. 4 (American IPA),” and “OLD LONDON WHISKEY PORTER (Porter).”
Mr. Michael, the brewer
Tasting Room: 1 glass of beer (284 ml): 500 yen (Open only on Sundays)
“JUICE Tatsumaki (“tornado”) (New England IP)” made from a larger amount of hops than usual (right) is characterized by refreshing bitterness.
A venerable sake brewery that started business in Kanda, Tokyo, as a sake dealer and standing bar in 1596. It is famous for producing sake, including “Kinkon” and “Kinkon Masamune.” A brewery tour where you can taste several kinds of sake is held on an irregular base (participation fee: around 2,000 yen). Sake and mirin can be bought at a nearby shop.
From December 1, 2018 to January 31, 2019, a stamp rally was held in Higashi-Murayama with participation of 48 facilities. The goshuin-cho (notebook for stamps) was provided at Toshimaya Shuzo, PoleStar, Tama Zenshoen Restaurant Nagomi, and others (free). After collecting ten stamps or more, you could apply for the raffle with giveaways such as Japanese sake from Toshimaya or sauce from PoleStar.
I had collected seven stamps in one day
Trivia info: Pure Tokyo Water/Higashi-Murayama Purification Plant
Bottled tap water that is treated with an advanced water purification method at Higashi-Murayama Purification Plant is sold at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office and others.
The water purified at Higashi-Murayama Purification Plant